BHS students enrolled in teacher Jane Lorenz’s Spanish class won the Best Intermediate Social Justice Film, with their creation, Una chica menos que esta sola, in the eighth annual Foreign Language Film Festival at the University of Central Missouri which was held on April 10.

BHS students enrolled in teacher Jane Lorenz’s Spanish class won the Best Intermediate Social Justice Film, with their creation, Una chica menos que esta sola, in the eighth annual Foreign Language Film Festival at the University of Central Missouri which was held on April 10.
“The festival is held each spring on our campus and features the original cinematic work of foreign language students in grades 6-12. With the guidance of their teachers, students enrolled in French, German, Chinese or Spanish courses in schools in Missouri and Kansas write, film, direct, act in, edit and create subtitles for original films in a foreign language.  They submit those films to us in March and come to campus for the festival in April to watch submitted films and to attend workshops on filmmaking. Moreover, prizes are awarded in various categories.  Such categories include: special achievement in different cinematic categories, the use of the target language, and the originality of the script. The film-making process provides the foreign language students with a fun, communicative project that meaningfully contextualizes their language production. For many language teachers, this project has become a focal point for their courses,” Julie Stephens de Jonge, Ph.D., Professor of Spanish at UCM, stated in a letter to Boonville R-1 Schools Superintendent Mark Ficken.
This year the festival collaborated with the University’s Show-Me-Justice Film Festival, a festival sponsored by UCM’s Communication Department. This festival is held the day before and on the day of the Foreign Language Festival, and it features both fiction and documentary films that showcase social justice topics.
“Filmmakers from around the world submit their films to the festival for consideration each fall, and some of the directors choose to attend the festival in April. The organizers of this festival also curate a short film program appropriate for a student audience, so that our foreign language participants can see examples of professionally made films. Some of these films are from countries outside the United States and/or are in a foreign language. We hope to expand students’ understanding of international topics and the various way directors communicate with film. We were fortunate to welcome Javier Navarro, an award-winning filmmaker from Spain whose film, ‘I’ve Just Had a Dream’ has won over 100 awards from festivals around the world. The film is in Spanish and creatively highlights the role of perspective in how we see social class and race,” Stephens de Jonge stated.
This year about 100 films were submitted and approximately 550 students and 35 teachers participated. Boonville students submitted one film in Spanish.
“We know it is rewarding but challenging to create a film. Your students and school are to be commended for providing an environment in which this kind of creative endeavor is possible,” Stephens de Jonge stated. “We value Boonville as a partner in our efforts to foster the study of other languages and cultures, to promote awareness of international issues, to engage students in a creative process through the use of digital media, and to expose students to other individuals who have communicated in a variety of ways with film.”